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Leerburg's Q&A database has 3322 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Puppy Training

Q. My bulldog hates being walked away from my apartment. I usually have to coax him or carry him. Do you think a prong collar would help?
Hi Cindy,

Thank you so much for the DVD and replying to my email, I know how busy you all are and I really appreciate it.

I have a question to ask before I purchase the obedience DVD; My male french bulldog is now 13 weeks old. I take him for short walks to a big patch of grass 3 blocks from my apt in Manhattan (I take him out morning, lunch, and dinner) He does not like to walk away from the direction of my apt, he will just sit on the ground and stare at me and sometimes whine or bark ....I gently coax him with praise when he comes and sometimes use treats like on the puppy DVD. Sometimes I pick him up in my arms and walk the rest of the way to get to the grass patch where he can roll around on his leash. On the return as we walk back towards my apt he will walk on the ground without being coaxed but on the last couple of walks this has turned into an excited run. He's going to be big and strong and I have him on a harness like french bulldogs need to be. Should I buy a puppy prong collar to use in conjunction with the harness at this young age?

I am concerned that if I don't correct this behavior he is going to always be a nightmare to walk. I understand that he is just a puppy but I would really value your advice on how to set good groundwork while he is still little. He is very well adjusted to the traffic and bustle of the city, he isn't fearful of cars or bikes going by. (New York is terrible for people fussing over dogs - it's almost impossible to have people not pay attention to your dog - this annoys me - but unfortunately in New York it's almost impossible to stop people fussing over a puppy - I try as best I can to not have people fuss over him).

Thank you for your time and for the first DVD.

Regards
Brigitta

A. Did you also purchase the basic obedience DVD yet? I would probably suggest you do get that one soon, and study it because he will soon be old enough to start more structured training.

Have you done any clicker or marker training with him? I would probably try this, he sounds like a smart little guy and this gives you a language to communicate with him. We carry a great book on beginning clicker training. There is an article on the web site about this too called Learning to Train with Markers.

I would be quite matter of fact about the walks, in the direction of YOUR choice, not his. It may mean you drag him a bit until he figures out he needs to walk with you. Pack leaders don’t coax, they fairly ask and if they don’t get the required response they take action. This shouldn’t be done with anger or emotion, but you can’t let him dictate when and where he walks.

I would probably go to a puppy prong, on the dead ring. You can see how to properly fit this collar in our article, How to Fit a Prong Collar. I don’t buy into the fact that some breeds NEED to be on a harness, especially dogs that are going to be strong and powerful. By using a harness, you are basically training him to drag you.

I would get him used to the prong in the house first, so you don’t have to worry about people butting in if he yelps or flails around (which he may very well do at first). It’s going to be difficult to get him going in a harness.

As for people fussing over your puppy, I typically say “please don’t pet my puppy, he’s in training.” If they don’t like it, then that becomes their problem. My relationship and training time with my dog is much more important to me than a stranger getting their feelings hurt. I typically have very well behaved dogs that ignore people, instead of looking at every person that passes by as entertainment. I want my dog to look to ME for petting and attention, not the guy walking by on his way to work, etc…

Who Pets Your Puppy is an article about puppies and allowing people to pet them. This is just the way Ed and I raise our puppies and what works for us. Your mileage may vary.

Cindy
  
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